Nick Parker

A Hideous Beast

The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-reading Monster Hercules Barefoot, His Wonderful Love and his Terrible Hatred


Arcadia 596pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

It’s not often these days that I make the mistake of judging a book by its cover, but I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a book with an overripe title. As far as I’m concerned, Swift should never have wavered from Travels into several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, first a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships. Consequently, my heart raced when I saw the title of this book. That it had also won the August prize – ‘The Swedish equivalent of the Booker’ – when it was first published in Vallgren’s native Sweden only made me more eager to dive in.

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